OPPOSITION leader Sam Rainsy yesterday praised the government’s call for an international solution to Cambodia’s border dispute with Thailand, but called for the government to devote similar attention to Vietnamese border issues.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote a letter to the United Nations Security Council, a day after his Thai counterpart reportedly threatened to use military force to settle the standoff.
In a speech on Monday, Hun Sen called for international adjudication of the dispute, saying the existing bilateral mechanisms had failed.
Speaking by video-link from Paris, Sam Rainsy told reporters gathered at the party’s Phnom Penh headquarters yesterday that he was “very happy” the government had called for a multilateral solution to the dispute with Thailand.
“I requested this a long time ago. I congratulate the government for doing as the SRP has requested,” he said.
“But I also would like to remark that if we request the international community to help intervene, we should request the international community to help with the Cambodia-Vietnam border as well.”
Sam Rainsy is living in self-imposed exile after receiving a two-year prison sentence in January for his role in the removal of wooden demarcation posts along the Vietnamese border in October.
Sam Rainsy also said yesterday that maps published on his website show that the poles he uprooted were not border markers, and called for the release of two villagers also convicted and jailed over the incident.
Va Kimhong, the government’s senior minister in charge of border affairs, said the poles were border markers and accused Sam Rainsy of “falsifying public documents and spreading disinformation” in making the maps public.
He said Cambodia and Vietnam were not involved in a border dispute, and that there was therefore no need for international intervention.